Research Publications and Reports (Recent Selections)

Arnold, L., Kirk, R.S., Roberts, A.C., Griffith, D.P., Meadows, K. & Julian, J. (2003) Treating incarcerated, sexually abused adolescent female offenders: An outcomes study.  Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 12(1), 123-139.
Kirk, R.S., & Griffith, D.P. (2004) Intensive family preservation services: Demonstrating placement prevention using event history analysis. Social Work Research, 28(1), 5-17.
Kirk, R.S., Kim, M.M. & Griffith. D.P. (2005) Advances in the reliability and validity of the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 11(3/4), 157-176.
Kirk, R.S., Kim, M.M. & Griffith. D.P. (2006) Advances in the reliability and validity of the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale. In: Nugent, W.R. Approaches to Measuring Human Behavior in the Social Environment. The Haworth Press
Kirk, R.S., Griffith, D.P., & Martens, P. (2007). An examination of intensive family preservation services.  Report available at http://www.nfpn.org
Kirk, R.S., (2008) Development and field testing of a family assessment scale for use in child welfare practice settings utilizing differential response. Protecting Children, 23(1), 71-87.
Kirk, R.S. & Griffith, D.P. (2008). Impact of intensive family preservation services on disproportionality of out-of-home placement of children of color in one state’s child welfare system. Child Welfare, 87 (5), 87-105.

Research Reports (in ascending order)

On Your Way - interactive website for foster youths to assist in planning their transition to post-secondary educational opportunitites

OYW Phase I: Griffin, W.V., Kirk, R.S., and Carter, N.A. (August 2004).  Developing eLearning for Human Services: Research Report on SBIR Grant 1R43HD44347-01 - Phase I – Educational Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care: On Your Way. Durham, North Carolina, Independent Living Resources, Inc. (On Your Way Phase I Report)
Project Summary: The purpose of this project is to produce, test, and evaluate the use of a multimedia program for foster youths and adults who care for them.  The program will connect foster and group home residents (youths), foster and group home parents, other caregivers, and youth serving professionals with information and resources to make post secondary educational opportunities for foster youths more attainable. Early access to information and resources will serve to raise expectations among foster youths and adults surrounding them that some form of post-secondary education (education after high school) is an achievable goal. Content will be organized content in two major areas, national and state specific, and seven basic topic areas.  Youths and adults will receive information by using an On Your Way CD-Rom, DVD and Guidebook, and comprehensive informational databases through the On Your Way.org website.
In Phase I, we developed the On Your Way CD-Rom, two introductory videos, and framework design for the DVD and Guidebook, and On Your Way.org website. The On Your Way program prototype was built on a CD-Rom (version 1.0). Participants in the feasibility and evaluation studies showed that foster care youths from 13-23 were very interested and excited about the design and concept for the completed program. We were also able to determine significant rates of access and use of Internet technologies among participants in the study.

OYW Phase II: Griffin, W.V., Kirk, R.S., and Carter, N.A. (December 2007).  Developing eLearning for Human Services: Research Report on SBIR Grant 2R44HD44347-02 and 5R44HD44347-03 - Phase II – Educational Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care: On Your Way. Durham, North Carolina, Independent Living Resources, Inc. (On Your Way Phase II Report)
Project Summary: In Phase II, we fully developed the On Your Way CD-Rom, DVD and Guide, and website. The evaluation study focused on all three aspects of the multimedia package.  Several objectives were developed to guide research activities:

  • Raise awareness among foster care youths and their caregivers/parents regarding the accessibility and affordability of education after high school.
  • Disseminate currently fragmented information regarding types of schools, admissions, housing, school supports, scholarship and loan information (financial aid), available to foster youths.
  • Develop and evaluate effectiveness of multimedia programming in reaching foster care youths and their caregivers/parents in both rural and urban and family and group settings.
  • Gather data over time to determine the educational value of the materials and motivation of users to develop or extend post secondary education plans.

 

Volunteer Advocate Academy - eLearning curriculum for professionals working with youths involved in the child welfare and court systems.

VAA Phase I: Griffin, W.V., Kirk, R.S., and Carter, N.A. (March 2007).  Developing eLearning for Human Services: Research Report on SBIR Grant 1R43HD054033-01 - Phase I – Guardian ad Litem – Court Appointed Special Advocate Academy: Volunteer Advocate Academy. (eLearning Program) Durham, North Carolina, Independent Living Resources, Inc.  (VAA Phase I Report)

Project Summary: The purpose of this project is to develop, produce, and evaluate a ten-module multimedia-training program for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers and program staffs. The program, called CASA/GAL Academy, will be delivered both on the Web and DVD, providing CASA/GAL volunteers and staffs with two home-based technologies for receiving high quality and comprehensive continuing education courses. Volunteers and staffs can register for courses through their CASA/GAL programs or individually and complete them to meet training requirements.
In Phase I, we developed the content and measures for one of ten modules on dealing with adolescents in relation to information needed by family or juvenile court judges to make informed disposition decisions. We fully developed the Representing Adolescents in Court introductory module testing prototypes of both DVD and Website versions. The program is designed to give volunteers information about youths in transition to adulthood in simple and practical terms. The program uses an interactive multimedia format utilizing case studies that are drawn from situations involving a family or juvenile court involved youth and a Guardian ad Litem. The Phase II evaluation study will further assess CASA/GAL volunteers and program staffs through their evaluation of the nine additional modules and development of enhanced knowledge and skills for working with adolescents.

VAA Phase II: Griffin, W.V., Kirk, R.S., and Carter, N.A. (May 2010).  Developing eLearning for Human Services: Research Report on SBIR Grant 2R44HD054033-02 and 5R44HDo54033-3 - Phase II – Guardian ad Litem – Court Appointed Special Advocate Academy: Volunteer Advocate Academy. (eLearning Program) Durham, North Carolina, Independent Living Resources, Inc. (VAA Phase II Report)

Project Summary: The purpose of this project is to develop, produce, and evaluate a ten-module multimedia-training program for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers and program staffs. The program, renamed the Volunteer Advocate Academy, will be delivered both on the Web and DVD, providing CASA/GAL volunteers and staffs with two home-based technologies for receiving high quality and comprehensive continuing education courses. Volunteers and staffs can register for courses through their CASA/GAL programs or individually and complete them to meet training requirements.

In Phase I, we developed the content and measures for one of ten modules on dealing with adolescents in relation to information needed by family or juvenile court judges to make informed disposition decisions. We fully developed the Representing Adolescents in Court introductory module testing prototypes of both DVD and Website versions. The program is designed to give volunteers information about youths in transition to adulthood in simple and practical terms. The program uses an interactive multimedia format utilizing case studies that are drawn from situations involving a family or juvenile court involved youth and a Guardian ad Litem. The Phase II evaluation study further assesses CASA/GAL volunteers and program staffs through their evaluation of the ten modules and development of enhanced knowledge and skills for working with adolescents.

 

Adolescent Real World Simulation - interactive eLearning and coordination program to duplicate a simulated Real World experience for youths

ARWS Phase I: Griffin, W.V., Kirk, R.S., and Carter, N.A. (July 2010).  Developing eLearning for Human Services: Research Report on SBIR Grant 1-R43MD005173-01 - Phase I – Adolescent Real World Simulation: An eLearning Program. Durham, North Carolina, Independent Living Resources, Inc. (ARWS Phase I Report)
Project Summary: The purpose of the project is to develop, implement, and evaluate the use of an Internet-based eLearning multimedia program that will allow foster care social workers, educators, and other youth workers to plan one-day real world simulations that would allow adolescent foster youths, ages 13-21, to learn and practice independent living skills.  Research on foster care reveals that the foster care system does not prepare foster teens adequately to transition from being dependent youths to independent self-sufficient adults.  As a result, many former foster youths struggle to achieve self-sufficiency and often end up living marginally after leaving foster care.  The proposed program, Adolescent Real World Simulation eLearning Program (ARWS), focuses on those who work with adolescent foster youths. It is also intended to assist any professional that works with adolescents to develop the skills necessary to plan and implement an independent living simulation in a real-world environment. 
In Phase I the ARWS Internet-based program demonstrated how three core planning components; preparation, management, and follow-up are used to develop a comprehensive daylong real world youth simulation (Griffin and Carter 2004). Phase I developed the Introduction to anAdolescent Real World Simulation segment. The Phase I introductory segment details programming benefits for youths, how to involve community businesses and coordinate all aspects of a real world simulation. The eLearning process includes video, graphics, intermediate learning milestones, self-evaluations, and interactive activities to illustrate the three core planning components. The project evaluation was incorporated to measure increases in user’s knowledge to plan, coordinate, and complete a real world simulation, and their overall satisfaction with the eLearning program and subsequent motivation to plan an event. 
Phase II: A Real World Interactive Timeline and the learning modules,Preparation, Management, and Follow-up will be fully developed in Phase II (under consideration). The educational design of the eLearning process includes use of video, graphics, intermediate learning milestones, customizable documents, and interactive activities to illustrate the three core planning components while teaching users how to use/access the Interactive Timeline. All the parts of this program comprise the Real World Toolkit which becomes an ongoing resource for current and future planning of Real World Simulation events. A project evaluation will be incorporated to measure increases in user’s knowledge to plan, coordinate, and complete a real world simulation, and their overall satisfaction with the eLearning program including subsequent motivation to plan an event.

ARWS Phase II: Griffin, W.V., Kirk, R.S., and Carter, N.A. (July 2014).  Developing eLearning for Adults working with transitioning young adults: Research Report on SBIR Grant SBIR Grant#2R44MD005173-02  - Phase II – Adolescent Real World Simulation: An interactive eLearning Training and Coordination Program. Durham, North Carolina, Independent Living Resources, Inc. (ARWS Phase II Report)

Project Summary: The purpose of the proposed project is to develop, implement, and evaluate the use of an Internet-based eLearning multimedia program that will allow foster care social workers, educators, and other youth workers to plan one-day real world simulations that would allow adolescent foster youths, ages 13-21, to learn and practice independent living skills. Research on foster care reveals that the foster care system does not prepare foster teens adequately to transition from being dependent youths to independent self-sufficient adults. As a result, many former foster youths struggle to achieve self-sufficiency and often end up living marginally after leaving foster care. The proposed program, Adolescent Real World Simulation (ARWS) eLearning program, focuses on those who work with adolescent foster youths. It is also intended to assist any professional that works with adolescents to develop the skills necessary to plan and implement an independent living simulation in a real-world environment.

In Phase I, the ARWS Introduction to an Adolescent Real World Simulation module Internet-based program was developed to brief adult users on how three distinct components, preparation, management, and follow-up, are used to develop a comprehensive daylong real world youth simulation (Griffin and Carter 2004). The Phase I introductory segment also outlines programming benefits for youths, how to involve community businesses and coordinate aspects of a real world simulation. A Real World Interactive Timeline and the learning modules, Preparation, Management, and Follow-up will be fully developed in Phase II. The educational design of the eLearning process includes use of video, graphics, intermediate learning milestones, customizable documents, and interactive activities to illustrate the three core planning components while teaching users how to use/access the Interactive Timeline. All the parts of this program comprise the Real World Toolkit which becomes an ongoing resource for current and future planning of Real World Simulation events. A project evaluation will be incorporated to measure increases in user’s knowledge to plan, coordinate, and complete a real world simulation, and their overall satisfaction with the eLearning program including subsequent motivation to plan an event.